Top ten eduposts from third graders in Mark Ahlness’ class!

Mark Ahlness – Shares his top 10 posts from his third grade students this year. These are GREAT! I think every teacher should share their top ten student posts both as an incentive and as a learning tool for other teachers! I am going to have to go back and do this for my year!

Third Grader On Blogging
I was impressed by the third grader that Mark described as his “most prolific blogger.” On his post about blogging, this third grader says [I have added bold for emphasis]:

I think I am a better writer because I have a blog. I can write a lot faster than I could when I first got my blog, which was back in November of 2005. I think I can write a lot faster because I am just so used to writing articles that I’m just so much faster.

My blog is important to me because I have just put a lot of work into writing articles on my blog. I must have at least 30 or 35 articles on my blog and a lot of them are long articles. The blog is also important to me because I have had it for about 8 months now and I am used to having my blog.

Third Grader on Assessments
I also like the third grader who talks about assessments (the Washington assessment of student learning). This third grader realized that he had a global audience and started asking questions to get others to share their thoughts. He writes:

The WASL stands for Washington Assessment of Student Learning. I thought the WASL would be a lot harder than it was. So now I'm not that mad about having to take it. Day 2 on the WASL, today I'm done with the reading WASL, tomorrow I will start the math WASL. Learning. We are the first third graders to take the WASL in Washington.

I wonder if people in Boston or New York have to take it. I hope they do because it would not be fair. I only have to take the Reading and the Math WASL but there is a lot more parts to the WASL.

This blog entry garnered six responses and I learned some about assessments (including that some schools take it on computer.

Third Grade Laugh
I also like the imaginative story of the Kentucky Escape Turkey which was quite funny.

Coping with the unknown audience of the blogosphere
Finally, and quite poetically, I see the emergence of what I call self-imposed blog stress in the third grader. She writes

To: People who commented me,

Thank you people for all the comments. They were all geat!!!!!! I will try to respond to all of them on my blog, If I don't I am very sorry :(.

From: Abigail:)

I have seen this in myself. I checked the other day and have over 800 return readers. As I see these readers, I wonder, Who are they? Why do they keep coming back? What on earth is this blog thing I am a part of? (Then I look at those who don't come back and it can be very unnerving!)

What emerges is a thought process of supposition where more questions emerge than answers.

Early on in my blogging, I really had to learn to deal with all of these questions and sometimes laid awake at night trying to “figure out” the dynamics of this thing called blogging. Now, most of the time, I just decide I am who I am. I am a mother and teacher first and if I can help someone, then great!

I am not writing to “please” a largely unknown audience but rather to reflect the character of who I am and the learning process I go through. All of this in the hopes that these reflections and learnings will help others go through the process faster than I did!

Make the list
Mark finishes his moving top ten list with this thought:

The danger in doing something like this, of course, is that you might hurt somebody's feelings by not including them on the list of your favorites – or that you might overlook pieces that were more worthy of a mention. Elementary school teachers know all too well the importance of fairness in the classroom, and the dangers inherent in singling out a few for special praise…

Well, I'm willing to take the chance here, because the much bigger danger, no – shame – would be if these kids did not get heard at all. They all should have their writing celebrated, so I encourage readers to browse through ALL the authors at

Mark, it is worth it. By summarizing into a top ten list, you give your students a voice. A voice that can be heard and is heard by other educators. At no time in history that I am aware can a third grader so easily speak words that can be heard around the world.

Mark is doing an excellent job, in my humble outsider opinion, of exposing these students to the world around them and the global community. He is also teaching them excellent self expression skills. I hope his administration and systems realizes what a gem they have in their midst. Excellent job!

Remember, if you share yours tag it mytop10eduposts or link it to my website so I can learn from you and share it with others.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Mark Ahlness July 3, 2006 - 3:52 am

Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I have been in a reflective mood the past week and thought it important to look back on this year carefully. I even went so far as to do a three part “blogging through the school year” series, 1, 2, and 3, to document high/low points of the blogging process with my classroom. These are pioneer days, in so many ways, and I think it’s important to remember and write down the journey, the process… – Mark

and a ps – I did go back and add the mytop10eduposts tag :)

Cheryl Oakes July 5, 2006 - 3:34 pm

Mark, nice job with this reflection too. I finished up school on Friday and after the long holiday weekend, I finally reflected on my combined teacher and student posts.
Looking forward to following you another year.
PS Thanks to Vicki for your challenge, now onward to think about how next year should look.
Cheryl Oakes

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